July: We Become Members of the Church through Baptism and Confirmation

2014 Outline for Sharing Time: Families Are Forever, (2013), 14–15

Supplement the ideas provided here with some of your own. Plan ways to identify the doctrine for the children and help them understand it and apply it in their lives. Ask yourself, “What will the children do to learn, and how can I help them feel the Spirit?”

“Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).

Week 1: The Church of Jesus Christ has been restored.

Identify the doctrine (seeing a picture): Show a picture of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and ask the children to share things they know about him. Explain that the Church of Jesus Christ was restored through Joseph Smith.

Encourage understanding (seeing an object lesson): Explain that when Jesus Christ was on the earth, He organized His Church with priesthood leadership and true doctrines. Ask the children to name some of the teachings and leadership positions in the Church, and with each answer have them place a block on a table to form a structure. When the structure is complete, explain that it represents the Church of Jesus Christ. Show pictures of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and explain that after these events the people started to teach the wrong things. Knock down the structure as you briefly explain the Apostasy. Discuss Joseph Smith’s call to restore the Church, and repeat the same teachings and leadership positions the children mentioned as you rebuild the structure. Bear testimony of the Restoration of the Church through Joseph Smith.

If you do not have the materials needed for the object lesson described in week 1, consider using materials you have access to.

Week 2: I become a member of the Church through baptism and confirmation.

Identify the doctrine (seeing pictures): Pretend to be a reporter. Tell the children, “Welcome to the Good News Network! Today I have the greatest news to report to you—each one of you can become a member of the true Church of Jesus Christ! This is one of the most important things you can do in your life. You become a member of the Church through baptism (show a picture of a child being baptized) and confirmation (show a picture of a child being confirmed).

Encourage understanding (reading scriptures): Divide the children into groups and give each group one or more of the following questions and corresponding scripture references. Invite them to imagine what they would say if a reporter asked them these questions. Ask them to find the answers in their scriptures.

  1. 1.

    Why must I be baptized? (See John 3:5; Acts 2:38.)

  2. 2.

    When am I old enough to be baptized? (See D&C 68:27.)

  3. 3.

    Who can baptize me? (See D&C 20:73.)

  4. 4.

    How should I be baptized? (See D&C 20:74.)

  5. 5.

    What does baptism symbolize? (See Romans 6:3–5.)

  6. 6.

    How do I prepare for baptism? (See Alma 7:15–16; 19:35.)

  7. 7.

    What do I promise at baptism? (See Mosiah 18:10.)

  8. 8.

    What do I promise every Sunday when I take the sacrament and renew my baptismal covenants? (See D&C 20:77.)

Encourage application (answering questions): Pretend to interview some of the children. Ask them to report what they learned about how you become a member of the Church.

Week 3: The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me.

Identify the doctrine and encourage understanding (hearing testimonies): Ask the children to whisper, “The Holy Ghost comforts and guides me.” Ask a teacher to briefly share a time when the Holy Ghost comforted and guided him or her.

Encourage application (singing a song): Give each child a piece of paper, and ask the children to write a few words that come to mind when they think about how the Holy Ghost comforts and guides us. Invite the children to listen for the words they wrote as they sing one or both of the following songs: “The Holy Ghost” (CS, 105) and “Let the Holy Spirit Guide” (Hymns, no. 143). Ask them to circle the words when they sing them. Invite the children to share the words they circled, and discuss what each word means. You may also invite children to share words that were not circled. Ask a few children to tell about times when the Holy Ghost has brought them comfort or guidance.

Week 4: I can know the truth through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Identify the doctrine (distinguishing truth from error): Write, on separate pieces of paper, some statements that are clearly true and others that are obviously false (such as “The sun is warm,” “Ice is hot,” “Stars shine at night,” and “Fire is cold”). Invite a child to choose one to read aloud, and ask the children to stand if the statement is true and sit if it is not. Ask, “How do you know?” Repeat with each paper. Explain that another way we can know something is true is through the power of the Holy Ghost. Read Moroni 10:5.

Encourage understanding (reading scriptures): Explain that through the power of the Holy Ghost we can know the truth; we may hear the Spirit’s voice or we may feel Him speak in our minds or hearts. Display pictures of a head (mind), a heart, and an ear (sample images are available at sharingtime.lds.org). Divide the children into four groups, and invite each group to read one of the following scriptures aloud as a group (see “Choral Readings,” TNGC, 163): D&C 11:13, Helaman 5:45, D&C 8:2, Helaman 5:46–47. As each group reads their scripture, ask everyone to show which pictures go with the scripture by placing their hands on their head, heart, or ears.

Scriptures: It is important for children to learn gospel truths from scriptures. Help the children focus and listen when scriptures are read. Even young children can listen for a specific word or two as you read a verse.

Help the children understand that the feelings of peace and love they feel when they learn about the gospel come from the Holy Ghost. Make sure you create a reverent atmosphere so this can happen.

Music: Include Primary songs in your teaching. This will help the children remember what they’ve been taught. “We are able to feel and learn very quickly through music … some spiritual things that we would otherwise learn very slowly” (Boyd K. Packer, in TNGC, 46).